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6 Methods for Removing a Strip Oil Drain Plug

Accidental stripping of the drain plug is not quite uncommon. However, it may lead to a situation when it becomes impossible to remove it from its position. This is when knowing the methods to remove a strip oil drain plug comes in handy. Keep reading to learn how to perform this task in some simple steps using a few available tools.

How to Remove a Strip Oil Drain Plug

Several techniques are available that you can perform to move the stripped oil drain plug. We’re going to discuss 6 methods:

Method 1: Vehicle Warm-up

The most seamless approach to a stripped oil drain plug is to make the car warm. For this, keep the car in the “idle” mode for some time or take it on a short trip. Then, park it on a stable surface.

Elevate the vehicle using a hydraulic jack and locate the oil drain plug. Now, try rotating the oil drain plug in a clockwise or counterclockwise way until it comes out.

oil drain plug
Removal becomes easier when the car is in “idle”. (Source: Ez Oil Drain Valve)

Method 2: Socket Wrench

A socket wrench is a multipurpose automotive maintenance tool that can also remove the oil drain plug. Procure a socket that matches the size of the oil drain plug and then try to remove the stuck oil drain plug.

Using a socket wrench with a longer handle is a better idea as it offers an extra torque for easy removal.

Method 3: Hammer

If the socket wrench does not work, use a hammer. With it, give some light taps on the oil drain plug in the right direction. It should loosen the plug, and then use a socket wrench for complete removal of the oil drain plug. Be careful not to disfigure the plug or its teeth.

Method 4: Rust Remover or Lubricant

Lubricant is also a fantastic material that you can use in such situations. Another similar substance is a rust remover that magically works on sludge and rust.

Spray the lubricant or rust remover on the stripped oil drain plug and give it some time to work. After a few minutes, use any tool (socket wrench or anything else) to remove the plug.


Method 5: Gator Grip

Another name for this tool is the “universal wrench socket”. Owing to its teeth, it works perfectly with all kinds of sockets, plugs, and bolts. The gator grip is another method to take away the plug. Use this tool to move the oil drain plug.

Method 6: Experts or Technicians

Resorting to this method means the failure of the above techniques to resolve the problem. There is no harm in taking help from a technician during complicated situations like this. However, the person helping should have expertise in the oil drain plug. Also, ask them to explain the problem and about the steps in fixing the issue.


Removing a strip oil drain plug is not a highly complicated issue. But, you need to know the right techniques for plug removal to avoid any safety hazards. If the above DIY techniques do not work, immediately contact a professional without hesitation.

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